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Imbalances between the number of available women and the number of men desiring partners created a demand for immigrant women.
As a result of this imbalance, a new system of "picture brides" developed in predominantly male settlements.
In the early 20th century, the institution of "picture brides" developed due to immigration restrictions.
The Japanese-American Passport Agreement of 1907 allowed Japan to grant passports to the wives of immigrants to America.
International marriage agencies encourage women to register for their services, and facilitate communication and meetings with men from developed regions of North America, Western Europe, South Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.Many women wanted to escape their present way of living, gain financial security and see what life on the frontier could offer them.Most of these women were single, but some were widows, divorcées or runaways.Very few women lived there at this time, so it was hard for these men to settle down and start a family.
They attempted to attract women living back East; the men wrote letters to churches and published personal advertisements in magazines and newspapers.
In the twentieth century, the trend was towards women living in developing countries seeking men in more developed nations.